Sidra Medicine Hosts Maternal and Child Health Symposium Opening Day

QF Entity focuses on the impact of nutrition in maternal and child health on Day 1

7 March 2020, Doha – Sidra Medicine, a member of Qatar Foundation, today hosted the first day of its Maternal and Child Health Symposium (MCH). The symposium is being held in Doha until 9th March 2020 at the Qatar National Convention Center. It aims to highlight the latest developments and innovations in maternal and child health, patient care and research.

In alignment with Qatar’s National Health Strategy 2018-2022 priority targets: Healthy women leading to healthy pregnancies, the MCH Symposium 2020 is showcasing presentations and panel sessions from more than 32 local and international experts in maternal and child health. Close to 400 delegates attended the first day of the MCH Symposium 2020.

The three-day symposium has been structured on the three biological transitions that a woman’s body goes through during pregnancy: pre-conception; pregnancy and fetal; and postnatal. Sessions cover topics related to understanding the role of lifestyle and women’s health in fertility; the role of infectious and chronic diseases in reproductive health as well as the latest updates on the novel tools and protocols used in IVF and in management of pregnancy complications.

Dr. Annalisa Terranegra & Dr. Souhaila Al-Khodor -Co-Chairs of MCH2020

Dr. Annalisa Terranegra & Dr. Souhaila Al-Khodor -Co-Chairs of MCH2020

Dr. Souhaila Al Khodor, Co-Chair of the MCH Symposium and Director of Maternal and Child Health Program, Research Branch, Sidra Medicine said: “Our research theme is built around the philosophy that health in the early years of childhood is the foundation of health throughout the life course. By bringing together both local and global experts, it is enlightening to see that we share a common goal – and that is, in order to build a healthier society, we must focus on improving maternal and child health.”

Day one of the MCH Symposium 2020 addressed issues such as the pre-conception period or reproductive health, advanced therapeutics, and precision medicine. It also tackled recent updates on improving reproductive health; the role of lifestyle and women’s health in fertility; and how pregnancy can be a window to life. For a detailed understanding of Sidra Medicine’s clinical and research programs related to maternal and child health, please watch this video here.

Prof. Kent Thornburg

Prof. Kent Thornburg 

Kent L. Thornburg, Professor of Medicine from Oregon Health and Science University, the keynote speaker on the first day, talked about ‘Healthy Women, Healthy Society’: “I am pleased to be here in Qatar and to share the latest work to help us understand how early life nutrition can impact diseases for the rest of our lives. The nutrition a woman receives during her pregnancy will affect her baby for life. Population health, depends on good nutrition and low stress in women – before and during pregnancy and during lactation - and if we cannot address these key areas, we will never be able to reverse chronic disease levels to the rates that we want to do.”

Prof. Kent Thornburg

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Al Thani from the Ministry of Public Health

Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Bin Jassim Al Thani, the Director of Public Health from Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health was one of the opening ceremony speakers at the MCH Symposium 2020. He talked about the Qatar National Health Strategy’s priority populations - Healthy women leading to healthy pregnancies.

Keeping with the theme of the pre-conception stage, other speakers on the first day of the MCH Symposium 2020 included Dr. Khalid Fakhro, Acting Chief Research Officer at Sidra Medicine, who delivered a keynote on exploring the genetic basis of male infertility; Professor Luciano Nardo, UK, Reproductive Health Group, who spoke on advanced management of chronic diseases to improve reproductive health and Dr. Marcos Meseguer Escrivá, Scientific Supervisor and Senior Embryologist, Spain, addressing the future of embryo selection. Dr. Spyridon Chouliaras, from Sidra Medicine, focused on assisted reproductive technologies in the era of personalized medicine.

Dr. Annalisa Terranegra, Co-Chair of the MCH Symposium and Investigator in Nutritional Genomics and Metabolism, Research Division, Sidra Medicine said: “Our pre-conference seminar on 5th March with Prof. Thornburg Sheikh Dr. Mohammed Bin Hamad Al Thani, which also featured a panel session with Prof. Rachel Tribe, from Kings College London – was very insightful as we considered merging global insights and best practices into local health programs. Our work at Sidra Medicine, in particularly in partnership with entities like the Ministry of Public Health and Hamad Medical Corporation - puts us in a unique position to collaboratively develop and implement strategies and healthcare approaches that can directly improve maternal and child health outcomes for families in Qatar.”

Read the Arabic press release here.

The MCH Symposium 2020 is a result of Sidra Medicine’s partnership with the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Qatar University; Weill Cornell Medicine – Qatar; Hamad Bin Khalifa University; the Qatar National Research Fund and the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists.

The MCH Symposium 2020 has been approved for a maximum of 20.5 hours as an Accredited Group Learning Activity Category 1 as defined by the Qatar Council for Healthcare Practitioners- Accreditation Department (QCHP-AD).

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